The “Fiscal Cliff”: Jim and Buzz Redux

It’s the “chickie run” from Rebel Without a Cause all over again. But this time they’re driving YOUR cars.

As the Democrats and Republicans in government race toward an alleged “fiscal cliff,” each hoping the other will leap from his vehicle first, their supporters hope that a few facts will get lost in the trash-talk. Let’s go over those facts.

First, this “fiscal cliff” is entirely of the politicians’ own making. There is no “revenue problem.” The “problem” is entirely on the spending side. The US government’s income has increased by 19% since 2009. Has yours? For some reason, the politicians never can find a way to live within their means, no matter how fast those means grow.

Secondly, neither side is proposing real overall spending cuts. The few real cuts are discrete cuts to specific programs, which will be outweighed by projected “baseline budgeting” growth in others. Most of the cuts are just cuts in that projected growth. Under even the most “draconian” proposals, the size and cost of the federal government will continue to grow indefinitely.

Third, all talk of “tax cuts” — for anyone — is smoke and mirrors. If government spending increases, taxes must increase as well. Those tax increases may be hidden through debasement of the regime’s fiat currency, or payment of the increases may be temporarily deferred by adding them to the “national debt,” but There’s No Such Thing As A Free Dollar.

This whole “fiscal cliff” controversy is just another trumped-up passion play. Obama, Boehner et. al want you to be so concerned that one side or the other might get its jacket sleeve caught on the door handle and plunge to a fiery death that you’ll forget it’s YOUR vehicles — with your paychecks in the glove compartments, by the way — that they stole from the curb and took out for their latest display of machismo.

If the politicians were serious about averting the crash, they’d put real spending cuts on the table. They’d rein in their spending addiction, balance their checkbook, and live within the insanely large means already available to them (budgeted US government revenues for 2013 come to $5.5 trillion, or about $18,000 from every man, woman and child in the United States).

But they aren’t serious about anything except blaming the victim. It’s all your fault, see, for being so stingy. You (and every other American) are already handing over more than the equivalent of a full-time, minimum-wage paycheck to them every year, but that’s just not enough. As Jim Stark might say, “you’re tearing [them] apart!”

Like all parasites, the state is evolved toward one and only one means of survival: It is driven to suck your blood, growing itself at your expense, until it has drained you dry. The “fiscal cliff” drama is just the political class equivalent of a tick hiding in your hairy places, or a leech secreting a pain-killing chemical to keep you from noticing its presence and its effect.

After all, if you see the parasite and know it for what it is, you might tear it off, throw it to the ground and stomp, hard. Which, of course, is exactly what you should do.

Let Jim and Buzz drive “their” cars off the cliff. Don’t try to stop them. Don’t try to rescue them. And don’t leave your keys in the ignition again.

Translations for this article:

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory